As the expression goes, every dog has its day, and for all the canines in Nepal, that phrase couldn’t be more literal.
Nepalese Hindu festival of Tihar takes place yearly. It is a five-day festival, and the second day is known as Kukur Tihar or “the day of the dogs,” or “worship of dogs.” On this day, every single Nepalese dog will receive royal treatment, even stray dogs.
The dogs are celebrated and blessed with a Tika. Tika is a mark worn usually on the forehead, and the dogs will have a red dot applied to their foreheads. The marking symbolizes their sacredness. A garland of flowers or “malla” is also placed around their neck, as part of the festival. It is to acknowledge the love relationships between humans and dogs.
During the celebration, the dogs get to feast on a variety of good food and treats, which I’m sure is their favorite part.
Hindus believe that dogs are messengers of Yamaraj – the God of death. By keeping the dogs in good farce, they will be able to soothe Yamaraj himself.
Yama is believed to be the god of death and owns two guard dogs, each dog with four eyes. It is believed the dogs watch over the gates of Naraka, the Hindu concept of Hell.
In Hinduism, a dog is a sacred animal in their religion. The special bond they have with them is to accompany them on their way to heaven.
The festival shares some traditions with Diwali. Diwali is a five day festival of lights celebrated by millions of Sikhs, Jains, and Hindus worldwide. It is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. A festival of new beginnings.
The festival shares some traditions with Diwali in India, which celebrates cows and crows.
Police dogs are given the day off, although they partake in a special march designed to mark the occasion.
The heartwarming festivities are annually in late October or early November and stretches over five days. Kukur Tihar will always occur on the second day of the festival.
Certain cultures worship animal symbols.
Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and religions of the classical Greeks and Romans have associated certain qualities with certain animal species symbols in religious iconography and allegory.